Starboard Turns

The scaled eyes of imponderables;
To turn a phrase, a wondering
Whether baby quarks spend time in
Their mother’s wombs before emergent
Properties bend their light into haughty spectra,
Or the dulcet tones of infrared, the gamma
Sing sweet lullabies to beta particles,
Decaying them to sleep in the everlasting
Vacuum of the background radiation left over
From the time before we can even begin
To imagine that anything ever existed.
These are the philosophers of stone,
The law-givers, Moses descending from a mountain,
These ten-commandments theorems and hypotheticals
This faith beneath divinity of any kind and yet
Somehow superseding it, like the cast off
Asteroid belt from an impact reminiscent of
Some exploded planet – with Copernican prophets and
An advanced martyrology.
How awkward it must be at family reunions
To speak ill of our forebears,
Neanderthal, Homo Erectus; It is a cruel
And unforgiving thing to twitch
At the scent of unwashed bodies
And their lack of civilization.
In the constant stream of determinate progress,
There are some who rise and hardly can
We be judged for celebrating those who fall,
For there is no real room for conscience of
A steadier kind, a non-relativistic motion which
Dispenses medals to social Darwinists,
Whether by leeward winds
Or Starboard turns they parry.

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